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Samson Occom, journal, 1774 July 8 to August 14

ms-number: 774408.2

abstract: Occom documents his and David Fowler's travels from Mohegan to Indian communities in Connecticut, Western Massachusetts and New York. The death of William Johnson, and the battles between the Shawnees and the Virginians are mentioned.

handwriting: Occom's hand is mostly clear and legible. Letter case is occasionally difficult to decipher.

paper: Small sheets folded in half to make a booklet are bound at the center fold by a metal pin that is still in place. The paper is in fair-to-poor condition, with moderate-to-heavy fading and wear that results in some loss of text.

ink: Brown ink varies in intensity throughout.

noteworthy: Although it is uncertain, when Occom mentions a "Mr. Johnson" on four recto, he is possibly referring to Joseph Johnson. An editor, likely 19th-century, has overwritten letters, words, and punctuation; these edits have not been transcribed. In the Rauner collection, a note from this editor accompanies the journal; this note has not been transcribed. If the name of a person or place is illegible, it has been left untagged.


Modernized Version -- deletions removed; additions added in; modern spelling and capitalization added; unfamiliar abbreviations expanded.


July 8: 1774:


David Fowler and I set out
about 3: o'clock in the afternoon
from Mohegan, on a Journey
towards Oneida to visit our
brethren, reached So far as to
Colchester, lodged at Mr. [illegible][guess: G[illegible]si]
Foot's and were very kind
ly entertained, —

Saturday
July 9
:

very early in the
morning went on our journey
rode about 8 or 9 miles were
kindly invited in by one
Mr. Luther I believe a Christian
man and broke our fast
[gap: tear][guess: w]ith him, after breakfast
went our way, stopped at Mr.
Frothingham
s a Seperate minis[gap: tear]
in Middletown, and dined with
him, after Dinner went on again
reach the Borders of Farmington
in the evening and we put
up a tavern, —

Sabbath July 10

got up very
early in the Morning and wen[gap: tear][guess: t]
on to Indian Town arrived
there about 7 o'clock in the morn[gap: tear]
put at Friend Elijah Wympy's
preached twice this Day and
in the evening, —

Monday July 11:

we were at
the Indian place all Day visit
ed amongst them found them
well in general and well dis‐
posed toward Religion —

Tuesday July 12

about 9 o'clock
left the Place and went on to
New Hartford about 8 miles,
where 2 or 3 Families of Indians
Live, there preached in the after
Noon, in the evening went
to an English House and lodged
there and was very kindly
entertained —

Wednesday July 13:

attended
ordination at the place called
[gap: omitted] one Mr. [gap: omitted]
ordained, after ordination went
to the Indian Place again and
preached just before Night, after
meeting went 2[illegible][guess: :] or 3[illegible][guess: :] miles [illegible][guess: to]
one Chaugums and lodged there
he is an Indian from Block‐
Island
and has a white woman
for his wife

Thursday July 14:

went over
the River and breakfasted with
Deacon [gap: omitted] after Break
fast went to New Hartford to Mr.
Marsh
's and [illegible] to meeting at
10 o'clock, after meeting went
Back to Mr. Marshs to Dine
with him after Dinner went
on to Norfolk with one [gap: omitted]
got to the Place just before
sunset lodged with the
Same gentleman that Con
ducted us here, —

Friday July 15:

had a
meeting about 9 o'clock this
morning, after meeting went
on our way to Stockbridge
reached to the Place Some
Time before Night, we
called on Mrs. Kirkland and
found her and hers well,
good Mr. Sergeant Came to See
us, and in the Evening went
home with him and lodged
there

Saturday July 16:

was at the
Place all Day, visited Some
Indians, towards evening met
at Honises to converse with the
Indians but we had no
Interpreter however we had
Some conversation about
Spirituals and Temporals —
Lodged again at Mr. Sergeant

Sabbath July 17:


in the morning heard Mr. Periham
Preach, — In the afternoon I preached
Twice first to the English, and
just before Night to the India[gap: tear][guess: ns]
there was a great Number of [gap: tear]
of the white People — — —
Lodged at one Capt. Joness this
Night, —

Monday July 18

met the Indi
ans in the morning at Honises
had Some conversation with
them Concerning Temporal
and Spiritual Concerns —
dined at Capt. Joness and im‐
mediately after Dinner went
our way towards Richmont
Deacon Willson and Capt. Jones
and others went with us, got
there Some Time in the afternoon
here met with my old acquain
tance from Long Island, good
Doctor Tarbell, mr Jeremiah Miller
Mr. Lewis Hedges and Mr. Reuben
Hedges
, I preached at the Place
this afternoon to a crowded
Auditory; after meeting went
[gap: tear] Dr. Tarbells and lodged there
and was very kindly entertained

Tuesday July 19:


Soon after Breakfast went on
to New Canaan preached there
this morning, as Soon as meeting
was over went with Mr. John‐
son to New Lebanon and preached
there this afternoon, Soon af
ter this meeting we had governor
Franklin
and a gentleman
from the West Indies and othe[illegible][guess: r]
and Some Ladies, Soon after
meeting we set off on our
Journey and we traveled 'til
about 10 o'clock in the Night, we
Could not find a Tavern, and was
obliged to put up at a poor
private house — —

Wednesday July 20:

got up very
early in the morning and
went on our way, got to Alb[gap: tear][guess: a]
ny
about 8 o'clock in the fore [gap: tear][guess: noon]
stopped a little while there, and
passed on to Schenectady got
there Some Time in the after
Noon, put up at Mr. Post's
our old Friends, and they were
very glad to See us and we
were glad to See them also —

Thursday July 21:


in the morning preached at
this place in Mr. Millers meeting
house, dined at Mr. Millers
Lodgings, Soon after meeting
left the place and proceeded
on our Journey, arrived to
Col. guy Johnson's just be‐
fore sunset, sat a little
while with him, found
him very Solitary on the
[gap: tear][guess: ac]count of the Death of
Sir William Johnson — last
Friday was the first our
hearing of his Death which
Dampt our Spirits much
about sunset we left Col.
Guy Johnson
and we went
on and traveled 5 or 6 miles
and put up at one Mr. [illegible]s

Friday July 22:


went off very early in the
Morning towards night
reached the upper Mohawk
Castle
called Fort Hendrick
put up at Joseph Brant's
but he was not at Home [illegible]
but few of the Indians

Saturday July 23:

left the
place early in the morn
and went on our way, Still
went no further than one
Mr. Thomson's

Sabbath July the 24:


we thought it best to travel
being a fine Clear Day —
arrived at old Oneida about
4 o'clock in the afternoon,
found our Friends well in
general, and they were
very glad to See us and
we were as Glad. stopped
about an Hour an half and
So pushed on to Kanawalo
hale
, got there just in dusk of
the evening, a great Number
of them issued out of their houses
and were overjoyed to us, and
we were very glad to See them,
after Salutations went to Mr.
Kirkland
s, and he was sur
prised to See us and we embraced
each other for Joy, and a
Number of the Indians Came
in and they Sang Psalms sweet
ly before they went out —
The good Lord be praised
that he has Safely brought
to the place of our desire and
and that we have found our
poor Brethren So well —
about 10 took rest for the
Night — — —
Spent the week with agreeable
view of the situation and
hopeful prospect of the Indians
future happiness — great alte
ration has been made a
mong these Indian both as
to their Temporal and Spiri
tual Concerns Since I was here 12 years ago, the Lord bless
them more abundantly —
Yet I find the Devil is very
is very busy at this time to
obstruct the pure Doctrines
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
the Le[illegible][guess: aven] of the Pope, which
has been planted among th[gap: tear][guess: ese]
poor Indians long Since [illegible][gap: tear]
Now ferments among them [gap: tear]
and the leaven of the apostiti[illegible]d,
Protestant Christans which is worse
than the Heathens, with the Heathen
superstions are all fermenting
together at this Time to oppose the
True Religion of Jesus Christ
which consists in the Power, as
well as in form, and it produces
love to god and Man and Holiness
of Life —

July 31:

Mr. Kirkland preached
in the morning, and I in the
afternoon,— these Indians have
got a good large Meeting house
almost completed outside, with
a neat belfry to it —
This week on wednesday had
a conference with Indians Concern
ing the True Doctrines of J[illegible][guess: c] be‐
ing all ways Offensive to a
Carnal — —

[gap: tear][guess: Sa]turday August 6 [illegible]:


[gap: tear] able to ride to Fort
Stani[illegible][guess: x] with Mr. Kirkland
expecting to meet a great number
of Indians there as they were
all going to Salmon fishing
but we did not with So many
as we Expected, though there a
considerable Number of them

Sabbath August 7: 1774


I preached all Day to the
whites, in the evening a number
of the Indians Came in to Mr.
Roof
s to Sing, and and a number
of the whites Came to hear —
last night Night and this morn
a fresh man a Roman Catholic
and an English woman pressed
us very hard to Baptize their
Children, but understanding
their Immorality we declined to
Baptize them, —

Monday August 8:

was n[gap: tear][guess: ot]
well enough to Proceed t[gap: tear][guess: o]
fishing Place, and So I returned
to Kanawalohale with Mr. Kirkland
got to the place before Night
Spent the week peaceable I
went a fishing almost every
Day and we had Small fish enough
every Day — —

Sabbath August 14:

Mr. Kirkland
preached, and toward evening
I put a question to them, which
was this, what is it that makes
a Christian or who is a Christian
a Number of them answered, and
they answered well, — — —
This week and last week we
have heard very Bad News
the Shawnees have had a Sp[illegible]art
engagements with the Virginians
and many were Slain on both
Sides and Shawn[illegible][guess: ies] have Sent
[gap: tear][guess: be]lts of wampum all round
[gap: tear] [illegible]ng the Tribes of Indians
for assistance, but we cant [gap: tear]
how Tribes have joined th[gap: tear][guess: em]
about a week ago [gap: tear]
Chief warriors Came to o[gap: tear]
from Shawn[illegible][guess: ies] Country, with
Ten Belts of wampum and
three Scalps, two Indian and
English Scalp, they with a Cry
to the five Nations for help —
the 2 Indian Scalps Signify
that the English were too many for [gap: tear]
and killed of them, the one Scalp
that Indians have killed but few
English, — the Six Nations
have been Call to assemble at
onondaga, there the grand coun
cil was to Sit, but most of the
Six Nations are at This Time
disposed every where for pro
visions, and nothing is done
yet, they are about to [gap: tear]
the Runners the Second T[gap: tear]
[gap: tear] supposed the Six Nations
[gap: tear]et Join the Shawnees
[gap: tear]termine to abide by their
[gap: tear]ment and Covenant with
[gap: tear] [illegible]English entered at the End [gap: tear][guess: of]
the last wars with French —
Radical New Lights/Separatists
Separatism in late 18th-century colonial New England refers to the radical New Light congregations that split off (separated) from antirevivalist churches, often called Old Lights. These separatist groups were spawned by the preaching of evangelical ministers like Englishman George Whitefield and Anglo-Americans James Davenport and Gilbert Tennent who spread their message through the British Atlantic world during a period called the First Great Awakening (1730s and 1740s). These revivals involved various groups—Baptists, Congregationalists, Moravians, Presbyterians and even Anglicans—and aided the formation of new movements such as Methodism and the Separate movement specific to New England. This movement shared elements of the Separatism of the late 16th and 17th centuries, in which dissenting Protestants in England, often called Puritans, separated from the Church of England because they felt it was not sufficiently reformed or pure. The group misnamed "the Pilgrims" who settled Plimouth Plantation in 1620 were separatists. These elements include an extemporaneous style of preaching that emphasized personal conversion and relatively unmediated spiritual experiences. In the early phase of the revival in New England, prominent conservative ministers welcomed the renewal but the revivals soon became more democratic, anti-authoritarian, and experiential. Thus, the Old Lights opposed revivals while moderate New Lights embraced the Awakening but rejected its excesses and radical practices like stirring up crowds and calling out ministers they considered unconverted. Not all New Lights were Separatists, and though they always remained a minority, many Separate churches split off from Congregational churches during the 1740s across New England; some came to sympathize with local Baptist congregations. Linford Fisher identifies a specific form of Native Separatism during this period modeled on the Anglo-American movement that retained Christian practices but eschewed conventional institutional affiliation.
Shawnee Tribe
The Shawnee Tribe is an Algonquian-speaking people, who originally occupied lands in southern Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. Their name comes from the Algonquian word “shawum” meaning “southerner,” and refers to their original location in the Ohio Valley south of the other Great Lakes Algonquian Tribes. Their history is one of displacement, wandering, and rebellion. The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) drove them from this region around the 1660s because they wanted their rich hunting lands, and the Shawnees scattered. By 1730, most of them had returned to their ancestral homeland in the Ohio Valley, where they became embroiled in the unrest that characterized that period. In 1761, the Senecas circulated a war belt calling for a general uprising against the British, and the Shawnees were one of only two tribes who responded. This rebellion was discovered and stopped by Sir William Johnson, the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs. The Shawnees also joined the Ottawa Chief Pontiac in his uprising against the British in the spring of 1763. Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the British military commander in North America, ended the siege. Joseph Woolley writes to Wheelock in 1765 about the Shawnees and Delawares coming to Johnson Hall to “polish the covenant chain” with the Haudenosauanees. The Shawnee Tribe participated in the large congress at Fort Stanwix in 1768, and in the summer of 1774, Occom records in his journal that the Shawnees fought with the Virginians in what would become Lord Dunmore’s War, and were rousing other tribes to join them. But because they were severely outnumbered, their chief Cornstalk signed a treaty relinquishing all Shawnee claims south of the Ohio River. Eventually, the tribe scattered again. One band migrated to Missouri, becoming the Absentee Shawnee. Another settled in eastern Oklahoma, and the band that is called the Shawnee Tribe (or Loyal Shawnee, because they fought on the side of the Union during the Civil War) relocated to a small reservation in Kansas. The Shawnee leader Tecumseh and his brother the Shawnee Prophet led another ill-fated uprising against American settlers in the border wars of the Ohio Valley at the turn of the 19th century, founding the pan-Indian Prophetstown settlement in 1808 and fighting on the side of the British in the War of 1812. After Kansas became a state, the non-Indian citizens demanded the removal of all Indians; in 1869 the Loyal Shawnee moved to land in Oklahoma offered to them by the Cherokees, though some Shawnees remained on the reservation in Kansas. In the 1980s, the Shawnees began the process of gaining a separate tribal status; they became a federally recognized tribe in 2000.
Colony of Virginia
The area south of the Ohio river (now West Virginia and Kentucky) was claimed by the powerful Haudenosaunee Nations and other tribes when white colonists from Virginia began settling the area after the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768. In 1774, a series of bloody encounters that came to be called Lord Dunmore's War occured between the colony of Virginia and the Shawnee and Mingo Indians. There were attacks from both sides: a small party including Daniel Boone's son was captured and tortured to death; then, a group of Virginian frontiersmen murdered a dozen Mingos, including women and children, in the Yellow Creek Massacre. Lord Dunmore, the last royal Governor of Virginia, declared war and eventually defeated the Indians and won an uneasy peace from them by reigning in colonial western expansion. His policies, which mirrored those of the British after the defeat of the French in the French and Indian War in 1763, ended with the beginning of the American Revolution. Wheelock and Occom would have been watching these developments carefully because of their interest in the Muskingum Indians who lived in this area.
Six Nations
The Six Nations (often called the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois) is a confederacy composed of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras. The first five tribes unified at some point before European contact (dates differ by centuries), and the Tuscaroras joined them in 1722, after colonial violence drove the tribe out of Carolina. The Haudenosaunee occupied much of what is now central New York, and, thus, were sandwiched between French, English, and Dutch territories. They allied with the English against the French early on, just as their arch-enemies, the Huron, allied with the French. Despite the Six Nations’ unity, the constituent nations experienced European contact in different ways. The Mohawks and Oneidas, as the two easternmost tribes, had by far the most contact with the English, while the Senecas and Cayugas, the westernmost nations, had little contact with the English (although both hosted French Jesuit missionaries). Mohawk territory was the site of Johnson Hall, the administrative center and home of Sir William Johnson, the British Superintendent for Indian Affairs in the Northeast. The Oneidas, meanwhile, played host to several prominent Anglo-American missionaries and were thought of as the most Christianized Haudenosaunee tribe by many colonists. Eleazar Wheelock became fixated on the Haudenosaunee soon after he established Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754. He saw in them the opportunity for a fresh start, since he believed that New England Indians had assimilated to Anglo-American norms in all the wrong ways (too much rum, too little Christianity). Wheelock established contact with the Haudenosaunee through Sir William Johnson and made the Mohawks and Oneidas the focal point of his missionary efforts for much of the 1760s. The American Revolution had dramatic repercussions for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Mohawks, Senecas, Onondagas, and Cayugas sided with the British, while the Oneidas and Tuscaroras sided with the Americans. Since all Haudenosaunee hold membership in both a tribe (Mohawk, Oneida, etcetera) and a matrilineal clan (bear, wolf, and others), the tribes’ divergent alliances brought about political schism and violence within extended families. Furthermore, Haudenosaunee territory was devastated during the war, especially in General Sullivan’s 1779 raid on Cayuga and Seneca territory. After the Revolution, many Haudenosaunee who had affiliated with the British relocated to the Grand River Reserve in Canada, while many of the Oneidas and Tuscaroras remained in New York. The Haudenosaunee at the Grand River Reserve established their own council fire, which operated in parallel with the original council fire at Onondaga. Today, both council fires are still active, and each tribe also has its own independent government (as do displaced Haudenosaunee populations, such as the Oneidas of Wisconsin).
Mohegan

Mohegan is a village in southeastern Connecticut at the site of the present-day town of Montville, and is the location of the Mohegan Indian Reservation. The village gets its name from the Mohegan Tribe, or wolf people, who split from the Pequots in the early 17th century under the leadership of the sachem Uncas. In the 1720s, the Mohegans requested the colony of Connecticut provide them with an English educator. An English minister and schoolteacher named John Mason (no relation to Captain John Mason) moved to Mohegan in order to provide English-styled education to the Mohegans, convinced his sponsors, the New England Company, to build a schoolhouse at Mohegan, which eventually served as a boarding school for other Native American children from the surrounding area. During the 17th century, the Mohegan Tribe became embroiled in a complicated controversy over control of Mohegan land — known as the Mason Land Case or, more specifically, Mohegan Indians v. Connecticut — that included the village of Mohegan. The Tribe claimed that it never authorized a transfer of their lands, held in trust by the Mason family, to the colonial government. In 1662, the colony of Connecticut was incorporated by a royal charter, which included the disputed tribal land. The land controversy was revived in 1704 when descendants of John Mason, the original trustee, petitioned the Crown on behalf of the Mohegans, but the suit was finally decided against the Tribe in 1773. Born in Mohegan, Occom became involved in the Mason Land Case and vehemently argued for the rights of the Mohegan Indians to maintain their land, opposing Eleazar Wheelock and other ministers in the area. Although Occom left Mohegan for a 12-year mission with the Montauk Indians of Long Island, he returned at the end of 1763 with his large family to build a house in Mohegan, establishing it as his base of operations. Even after the creation of the Brothertown settlement in Oneida country, for which he served as minister, Occom continued to commute back and forth from Mohegan; he didn't sell his house in Mohegan and move his family to Brothertown until 1789. Many members of his family remained in Mohegan, including his sister Lucy Tantaquidgeon, who lived there until her death at 99 in 1830.

Oneida

Oneida is a city in Madison County located at the geographical center of New York state. Before European settlement of the area, the Oneida Tribe, one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, inhabited a large territory adjacent to nearby Oneida Lake. Around 1533, they built their first village on the south shore of the lake, at or near the mouth of Oneida Creek. At the end of the 17th century, this area began suffering raids by parties from the French colony of Quebec, in a battle to control the fur trade. In 1696, Oneida village was burned by the French. As a result, the Oneidas moved their chief village east of the original site, called Old Oneida, to a new site called Kanawalohale, also known as Oneida Castle, which was fortified by tall palisades and a moat. This is the site of the present-day village of Oneida Castle, a small hamlet west of the city of Oneida in the northwest corner of the town of Vernon. When used in Occom Circle documents, the place name "Oneida" usually refers to the territory inhabited by the Tribe east of Oneida Lake, but can also refer specifically to Oneida Castle. Although the Oneidas sided with the patriots during the Revolutionary War, much of their territory was sold or appropriated by the state of New York. In 1790, the first European settlers moved into the area of Old Oneida village, and the district began to expand. In the 1830s, the state built a feeder from Oneida Creek through the present city site to provide water for the new canal system, which enabled canal boats to ship freight into the town. Eventually, the railroad came through the town and helped with its expansion. This led to the incorporation of the Village of Oneida in 1848 and the establishment of the Town of Oneida in 1896. The town was chartered as the City of Oneida in 1901, and with two more railroad lines transecting the area, it became a thriving manufacturing center for the first half of the 20th century.

Colchester
Middletown
Farmington

The Tunxis Indians first established a village on the east side of a river (now named the Farmington River) and called it Tunxis Sepus, meaning at the bend of the little river. English settlers renamed it Plantation at Tunxis in 1640, and in 1645, the Connecticut General Assembly incorporated the land, in central Connecticut, as the town of Farmington. Throughout the 18th century, the Tunxis Indians attended church and school with the settlers. In a letter to George Whitefield, Wheelock wrote of a 14-year-old Farmington Indian who demonstrated a gift for learning and knew how to read and write English, indicating that the young Indian might make a great addition to his school. At least six male students who were possibly from Farmington entered the Indian Charity School between 1761 and 1762. Also, Occom's son-in-law, Joseph Johnson, resided in and wrote a letter from Farmington prior to establishing the Brothertown settlement in upstate New York. According to Calloway, the possible Farmington students were Moses, Samuel Ashpo, Daniel Mossuck, and Jacob Fowler, Enoch Closs, Samuel Tallman. However, the letter does not indicate whether the student Wheelock mentions ever attended the school.

New Hartford
Block Island

Block Island, roughly 10 square miles in area and composed primarily of beaches, cliffs, and grasslands, is nine miles south of mainland Rhode Island and 18 miles north of Montauk on the eastern edge of Long Island. The Narragansett Indians, Block Island’s original inhabitants, called the island Manisses, meaning “Island of the Little God.” Perhaps because of this, the Narragansetts who occupied Block Island are sometimes referred to as Manissean Indians. The island derives its current name from Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, who sighted it in 1614. In 1636, an Englishman, Captain John Oldham, was murdered while trying to establish trade with the Narragansetts on Block Island. Henry Vane, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, used Oldham’s murder as justification to seize the land. The English slaughtered 14 Narragansett warriors and burned nearly all the crops and wigwams they found on the island. From then on, the island’s Narragansetts were outnumbered by the English settlers and subject to colonial rule. Possession of Block Island passed to several private families in 1658 before being incorporated into Rhode Island as the town of New Shoreham in 1672. By 1700, the Indian population of Block Island had been reduced to about 300. During his preaching tours of New England, Occom interacted with inhabitants from Block Island, though these interactions occurred on the mainland.Although Occom’s early residence in Montauk was not far from Block Island by water, no evidence indicates that he ever visited there.

Long Island

Long Island is an island located in southeast New York State. In 1824, historian Silas Wood claimed that 13 different tribes inhabited the island when the Dutch and English arrived in 1639: the Canarsie, the Rockaway, the Matinecock, the Merrick, the Massapequa, the Nissequoge, the Secatoag, the Seatuket, the Patchoag, the Corchaug, the Shinnecock, the Manhasset, and the Montaukett. This is the commonly accepted tribal history of Long Island, and Wood’s theory is taught in New York textbooks today. Yet, in 1992, historian John Strong challenged this dominant narrative, arguing that tribal systems did not develop on Long Island until after Europeans arrived. Based on Dutch and English colonists’ accounts, the Algonquian communities on western Long Island likely spoke the Delaware-Munsee dialect and those to the east spoke languages related to the southern New England Algonquian dialects. These indigenous peoples organized themselves by language and kinship, but beyond village systems and the occasional alliance, there existed no formal tribal structure. Rather, internal structures arose among the Montauks, the Shinnecocks, the Poospatucks, and the Matinnocks to cope with English settlers, and became integral to these peoples’ survival. Although new diseases and land negotiations severely encroached on the freedom of Long Island’s Native population, these groups that developed tribal structures retain a sense of community today. By the 18th century, much of the island had fallen into the hands of the English, who were the sole European power on Long Island once the Dutch relinquished their claims to the land after the second Anglo-Dutch War in 1664. During the Great Awakening of the 18th century, Occom spent 12 years serving as a missionary to the Montaukett Indians of Long Island, along with Presbyterian minister Azariah Horton. Today, the western half of the island is densely populated due to its proximity to Manhattan, and its eastern half is mainly devoted to resort towns. The Shinnecocks and the Poospatucks retain autonomous reservations on Long Island.

New Canaan

New Canaan is a town located in southwestern Connecticut. The British colonists who settled in the Connecticut area in the 17th century fought in the Pequot War, and purchased land in what is now Fairfield County -- including Norwalk and Stamford -- from the Native people who occupied it, tribes known for their tobacco growing and wampum making. The local sachems continued to sell land to both towns, but the deeds often overlapped or were vague, which caused much confusion regarding land rights. In 1731, families in Norwalk and Stamford petitioned to establish Canaan Parish, and in 1801, the parish officially separated from Norwalk and Stamford to become the town of New Canaan. Occom travelled through New Canaan on several occasions during his preaching tours, as he recorded in his journals. Starting in the early 19th century, New Canaan’s economy shifted from agriculture to shoe making. In 1868, the railroad to Manhattan extended to New Canaan, making it an ideal location for wealthier homeowners who worked in New York City.

New Lebanon
Albany

Albany is a city located in eastern New York. When Netherlander Henry Hudson arrived in what would become Albany in 1609, the Mohican Indians lived in several villages in the area. The Mohicans gave Hudson’s crew furs, and the Dutch East India Company sent representatives to trade with the Native peoples. The Dutch established the village of Beverwyck within the territory of the New Netherlands. Beverwyck hosted a diverse population of Germans, French, Swedes, English, Irish, Scots, Dutch, and Africans. After the fall of New Netherlands to Britain in 1664, Beverwyck was renamed Albany in honor of the colony’s proprietor James, Duke of York and Albany. In 1686, Albany was granted a charter that incorporated the city and provided it the sole right to negotiate trade with Native Americans. During the French and Indian War, Albany was designated as the British military headquarters in the Americas. During the Revolutionary War, most Albany residents supported the revolution because of their opposition to British trade restrictions.

Schenectady

Schenectady is a city located in eastern New York State. The area that would become Schenectady was originally controlled by the Mohawk Indians, the easternmost and most powerful of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. The land making up Schenectady was one stop on the much larger Mohawk Trail, which extended from Schenectady to what would become Albany, New York. The name of Schenectady was a derivation of the Mohawk word, Schau-naugh-ta-da, which meant the place beyond the open pines. The first Europeans to arrive at Schenectady were the Dutch who established a settlement there in 1661. Schenectady would come under British control as Dutch power in the Americas waned and the British established the colony of New York. In 1690 during King William’s War, Schenectady became the target of French and Indian soldiers who attacked the town and killed 60 of its residents, an event that became known as the Schenectady Massacre. There was a smallpox outbreak in Schenectady in 1767, as noted in this collection’s documents. In 1780, Oneidas found refuge from Loyalist and Mohawk attacks in Schenectady, and the town served as a stop on the way to Brothertown, the pan-Indian settlement founded by Occom and other graduates of Wheelock’s school. Schenectady was designated a borough in 1765 and eventually incorporated as a city 1798.

Canajoharie

The historical Mohawk village of Canajoharie was located about 50 miles northwest of Albany, New York, in the central part of the state. Today, both a town and village in the same vicinity of the Mohawk village of Canajoharie have taken the Mohawk name, but the location of the present-day village is slightly east of the historical village. Because the village’s name was similar to the Oneida village of Kanawalohale, where David Fowler established a school in 1765, many sources conflate the two villages. Canajoharie, which in English means a washed kettle, was also known by the names Indian Castle and Upper Castle, which refers to the late 17th-century Mohawk fortifications that were built around the town following a series of French attacks during King William’s War. The term Upper Castle served to differentiate Canajoharie from Lower Mohawk Castle located in the Mohawk village of Tionondoroge near Fort Hunter. Canajoharie contained the Indian Castle church, which still stands today and was built in 1769 by the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Sir William Johnson, with help from the Mohawk siblings Molly and Joseph Brant, who donated land to the cause. Throughout the span of the 18th century, war, disease, and emigration severely reduced the Mohawk population in Canajoharie, and an influx of both white and non-Mohawk Native Americans resulted in a diverse and ethnically mixed culture. Wheelock's missionary work in this village in the 1760s was headed by Theophilus Chamberlain, while Abraham major, Abraham minor, and Peter (Mohawk) maintained missionary schools near Canajoharie.

Fort Hendrick
Kanawalohale

Kanawalohale was a village located in the present-day town of Vernon in central New York state. In the 18th century, it was an Oneida village located about 60 miles west of the Mohawk village Canajoharie. Because the village’s name was similar to the Mohawk village of Canajoharie, many sources conflate the two. Founded in the mid-18th century, Kanawalohale was made up of a cluster of about 40 homes along the Oneida Creek, south of Oneida Lake. The name means head on a post in reference to an enemy soldier's skull displayed in the village. In 1765, David Fowler established an Indian school in Kanawalohale, where Wheelock’s son, Ralph, worked. Between the years of 1765 and 1767, Kanawalohale hosted many of Wheelock's missionaries including Samuel Kirkland, Joseph Johnson, David Avery, and Aaron Kinne. The Indians of Kanawalohale used their relationship with missionaries such as Kirkland to gain prestige over the formerly central Oneida village, Old Oneida. Kirkland often wrote in his journal about the dialogues he had with the Indians at Kanawalohale, who refused to receive his teachings silently. The Christian Indian population grew throughout the 1760s with at least 200 Indians attending church in the village. In 1780, Joseph Brant, a Mohawk allied with the British, led a war party against the revolting colonists, with whom the Oneidas had allied, that destroyed the Oneida village of Kanawalohale. This area is known today as Oneida Castle.

Fort Stanwix

Fort Stanwix (also known as Fort Schuyler) is located northeast of Syracuse in present-day Rome, New York. Under the direction of British General John Stanwix, for whom the fort is named, the British began constructing the fort in 1758 in order to control the Oneida Carry, which is the portage path between the Mohawk River and Wood Creek. During the French and Indian War, the British built several forts in the Oneida Carry area, but by August 1756, the British ordered all the forts destroyed when they received word that British posts nearby were quickly falling to the French. In 1758, the British attempted to reoccupy Oneida Carry by building Fort Stanwix. The building of the fort did in fact give the British the dominant position in the area, which they retained throughout the remainder of the French and Indian War. The British Army abandoned the fort in 1765. In October 1768, David Avery wrote a letter to Wheelock describing the possibility of recruiting students for the Indian Charity School from a gathering of Indians from the Six Nations, at Fort Stanwix. This gathering and the negotiations that took place resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix on November 5, 1768. This treaty, between the British and the Six Nations, Shawnees, Delawares, Mingos and other tribes, delineated territory between the British and the Indians. The treaty drew a boundary line from Fort Stanwix down to the Ohio River, and followed the Ohio River west to where it meets the present-day Tennessee River. During the American Revolution, the colonists built a new fort in place of Fort Stanwix. This fort was named Fort Schuyler but was often referred to as Fort Stanwix.

Onondaga

Onondaga village was the primary settlement of the Onondaga Nation in Onondaga territory, an area in upstate New York, southeast of Lake Ontario. The Onondagas are one of the original Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). Because their traditional homeland was centrally located, with the Cayuga and Seneca Nations to the west and the Oneida and Mohawk, and later the Tuscarora, Nations to the east, Onondaga village became the capital or place of the council fire in the figurative longhouse of the Confederacy. Thus, the Onondagas are known as "the keepers of the fire." The name "Onondaga" means hill place, but the location of the village changed several times, until in 1720, it was moved to Onondaga Creek. In 1764, Wheelock sent Samuel Ashpo, a Mohegan separatist minister who attended Moor's Indian School briefly as an adult, as missionary for a season to the Onondagas, where he met with moderate success. On the eve of the American Revolution, Occom reported in his journal for 1774 that the Six Nations were called to gather at Onondaga for a Grand Council. In his attempt to recruit young Native children from more remote tribes, Wheelock sent his son Rodolphus (aka Ralph), accompanied by Joseph Johnson as interpreter, to the Onondaga and Seneca Tribes in April 1768. A difficult ambassador (who probably suffered from epilepsy and was prickly even at his best), Ralph was unsuccessful. In ms. 768302 Johnson speculates that the "Back nations . . . are too much overcome by french principles or reather fast in the divils clutches" to accept a Congregational missionary. Although the Onondagas tried to remain neutral during the Revolutionary War, some fought with the British. In retaliation, in April 1779, Continental troops targeted the village of Onondaga and destroyed the fifty houses along Onondaga Creek that had been abandoned as their inhabitants fled. Many took refuge with Mohawk leader (and Moor's graduate) Joseph Brant in Six Nations, Ontario, and their homeland was ceded to the state of New York, but some land was kept for a Reservation. In 1798, the town of Onondaga was incorporated from parts of other towns settled by Anglo-Americans that were former sites of the Onondaga capital and named for the Tribe. The Haudenosaunee government continues to meet on the Onondaga Reservation, located south of the city of Syracuse.

Stockbridge

Stockbridge is a small town on the Housatonic River in Berkshire County in western Massachusetts. The area was the home of the Mohekanew or Muh-he-ka-nuk people (people of the continually flowing waters), also known as the Mahicans, (or Mohicans and not to be confused with Mohegans from the Connecticut area), who had been driven there because of tensions with the Mohawk tribe over the expansion of the fur trade with the Dutch in the 17th century. European traders and settlers in the area brought disease and land greed, weakening the Mahicans and their traditional lifeways. In 1734, a missionary named John Sergeant from New Jersey came to live in the Mahican village of Wnahktukuk, baptizing those who accepted his teachings. In order to survive in a rapidly changing world, the Tribe accepted the misson and in 1736, the town of Stockbridge was created, named after a village in Hampshire, England, the last of the "praying towns" in Massachusetts, also known as "Indian Town." It was, for the English, strategically located along a military trail to Canada and created a Protestant buffer against Indian allegiance to the Catholic French. Sergeant built a church and schoolhouse, and brought four English families to settle there, ostensibly as models. Wappinger, Nipmuck and Tunxis Indians joined the community and the Mahicans made Stockbridge their chief village. They and the other Native peoples who lived there were called the "Stockbridge Indians." With the end of the French and Indian war, new settlers flooded into the town, buying up land and excluding the Indians from town government; the experimental community became divided into white and Indian neighborhoods. Although the Massachusetts General Court promised that the land given to the Indians as a reward for their service in the recent war and held in common would never be sold, that agreement was breached. In 1774, Indians from seven praying towns––Charlestown, Groton, Stonington, Niantic, Farmington, Montauk, and Mohegan––who were also in debt and dispossesed, accepted the invitaion of the Oneidas to settle on their lands in central New York state, but were driven back by the Revolution and retreated to Stockbridge. Eventually, in 1783 many Stockbridge Indians moved to Oneida lands and founded "new" Stockbridge near the Brotherton settlement established by Occom and other Mohegan Indians. Stockbridge, MA, was a destination for many of the missionaries trained by and associated with Wheelock and his Indian school, and eight Stockbridge Indians enrolled at Dartmouth College between 1771 and 1780. In 1778, Daniel Simon, a Narragansett Indian, one of five children in his family to go to Wheelock's Charity School, and the first Indian educated by Wheelock to receive a degree from Dartmouth College in 1777, was licensed to preach and taught at Stockbridge. As late as 1785, Occom recounts in his journals traveling to Stockbridge, MA to preach and visit Sergeant, Jr. and Kirkland, and finds the Indians "scattered," many removed to Oneida country.

West Indies
Occom, Samson

Samson Occom was a Mohegan leader and ordained Presbyterian minister. Occom began his public career in 1742, when he was chosen as a tribal counselor to Ben Uncas II. The following year, he sought out Eleazar Wheelock, a young Anglo-American minister in Lebanon, CT, in hopes of obtaining some education and becoming a teacher at Mohegan. Wheelock agreed to take on Occom as a student, and though Occom had anticipated staying for a few weeks or months, he remained with Wheelock for four years. Occom’s academic success inspired Wheelock to open Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754, a project which gave him the financial and political capital to establish Dartmouth College in 1769. After his time with Wheelock, Occom embarked on a 12-year mission to the Montauk of Long Island (1749-1761). He married a Montauk woman, Mary Fowler, and served as both teacher and missionary to the Montauk and nearby Shinnecock, although he was grievously underpaid for his services. Occom conducted two brief missions to the Oneida in 1761 and 1762 before embarking on one of the defining journeys of his career: a fundraising tour of Great Britain that lasted from 1765 to 1768. During this journey, undertaken on behalf of Moor’s Indian Charity School, Occom raised £12,000 (an enormous and unanticpated amount that translates roughly to more than two-million dollars), and won wide acclaim for his preaching and comportment. Upon his return to Mohegan in 1768, Occom discovered that Wheelock had failed to adequately care for his family while he was gone. Additionally, despite the vast sums of money that he had raised, Occom found himself unemployed. Wheelock tried to find Occom a missionary position, but Occom was in poor health and disinclined to leave his family again after seeing the treatment with which they had met while he was in Britain. Occom and Wheelock’s relationship continued to sour as it became apparent to Occom that the money he had labored to raise would be going towards infrastructure at Dartmouth College, Wheelock’s new project, rather than the education of Native Americans. After the dissolution of his relationship with Wheelock, Occom became increasingly focused on the needs of the Mohegan community and increasingly vocal in criticizing Anglo-Americans’ un-Christian treatment of Native Americans. In September of 1772, he delivered his famous “Sermon on the Execution of Moses Paul,” which took Anglo-American spiritual hypocrisy as one of its major themes, and which went into four printings before the end of the year. In 1773, Occom became further disillusioned when the Mason Land Case was decided in favor of the Colony of Connecticut. The details of the Mason Case are complicated, but to summarize: the Colony of Connecticut had gained control of Mohegan land early in the 18th century under very suspect circumstances, and successfully fended off the Mohegan’s 70-year-long legal challenge. The conclusion of the case came as a blow to the Mohegans, and further convinced Occom of Anglo-American corruption. Along with David Fowler (Montauk Tribe), Occom's brother-in-law, and Joseph Johnson (Mohegan), Occom's son-in-law, Occom helped found Brothertown, an Indian tribe formed from the Christian Mohegans, Pequots, Narragansetts, Montauks, Tunxis, and Niantics. They eventually settled in Oneida country in upstate New York. Occom moved there with his family in 1789, spending the remaining years of his life serving as a minster to the Brothertown, Stockbridge, and Mohegan Indians. Harried by corrupt land agents, the Brothertown and Stockbridge groups relocated to the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago, though Occom died in 1792 before he could remove himself and his family there. Occom's writings and legacy have made him one of the best known and most eminent Native Americans of the 18th century and beyond.

Johnson, Joseph

Joseph Johnson was a Mohegan who studied at Moor’s Indian Charity School and became one of the most important organizers of the Brothertown Movement (a composite tribe composed of Christian members of seven Southern New England Algonquian settlements). He was a prolific writer and his papers are relatively well-preserved. Johnson’s writing is especially noteworthy for his skillful use of Biblical allusion and his awareness of the contradiction that he, as an educated Native American, presented to white colonists. Johnson arrived at Moor’s in 1758, when he was seven years old, and studied there until 1766, when he became David Fowler’s usher at Kanawalohale. He continued teaching in Oneida territory until the end of 1768, when Samuel Kirkland sent him home in disgrace for drunkeness and bad behavior. After a stint teaching at Providence, Rhode Island, and working on a whaling ship, Johnson returned to Mohegan in 1771 and became a zealous Christian. He opened a school at Farmington, CT, in 1772, for which he seems to have received some minimal support from the New England Company. From his base at Farmington, he began organizing Southern New England Algonquians for the Brothertown project. The goal was to purchase land from the Oneidas, the most Christianized of the Six Nations, and form a Christian Indian town incorporating Algonquian and Anglo-American elements. Johnson spent the rest of his short life garnering necessary support and legal clearance for the Brothertown project. Johnson died sometime between June 10, 1776 and May 1777, at 25 or 26 years old, six or seven years before Brothertown was definitively established in 1783. He was married to Tabitha Occom, one of Samson Occom’s daughters. She lived at Mohegan with their children even after Brothertown’s founding, and none of their children settled at Brothertown permanently. Like most of Wheelock’s successful Native American students, Johnson found that he could not satisfy his teacher's contradictory standards for Native Americans. Although Johnson's 1768 dismissal created a hiatus in their relationship, Johnson reopened contact with Wheelock after his re-conversion to a degree that other former students, such as Samson Occom, David Fowler, and Hezekiah Calvin, never did.

Fowler, David

David Fowler was Jacob Fowler's older brother, Samson Occom's brother-in-law, and an important leader of the Brothertown Tribe. He came to Moor's in 1759, at age 24, and studied there until 1765. While at school, he accompanied Occom on a mission to the Six Nations in 1761. He was licensed as a school master in the 1765 mass graduation, and immediately went to the Six Nations to keep school, first at Oneida and then at Kanawalohale. Fowler saw himself as very close to Wheelock, but their relationship fragmented over the course of Fowler's mission, primarily because Wheelock wrote back to Kirkland, with whom Fowler clashed, but not to Fowler, and because Wheelock refused to reimburse Fowler for some expenses on his mission (767667.4 provides the details most clearly). Fowler went on to teach school at Montauk, and played a major role in negotiations with the Oneidas for the lands that became Brothertown. He was among the first wave of immigrants to that town, and held several important posts there until his death in 1807.

Frothingham
Wympy, Elijah

Elijah Wympy was a prominent Farmington Indian who was instrumental in establishing Brothertown, yet he subsequently led a group that disregarded the primary vision of the community. In his early years he was a student at the school in Farmington, CT, and in 1757 he served in the Seven Years’ War. During negotiations around 1773 between the Oneida and New England Indians concerning a tract of land, Wympy acted as a delegate for Farmington and asked other tribes to send envoys too. The Oneidas granted the territory the following year, and in 1775 Wympy was among the first to move to what became Brothertown. He was chosen as a trustee of the town in 1785, but around this time the Oneidas attempted to reclaim the land. Accordingly, Wympy participated in the effort to maintain the territory. Fortunately, when the state of New York gained Oneida territory in 1788, it acknowledged the Christian Indians’ right to the tract as it had originally been granted; the state passed an act in 1789 that recognized the Indians’ property and instituted a 10-year limit on leases for lots. Wympy and his followers, comprised mainly of outsiders, thus leased numerous parcels, including invaluable ones, to white settlers. Occom strongly opposed this and petitioned the Assembly, which passed an act in 1791 restricting the power to lease lands to the council. While Occom and Wympy had previously been friends -- Wympy had even partaken in the movement to establish Occom as the local minister -- their disagreement on the issue of leasing Brothertown lands to whites opened a strong divide between them. Wympy apparently regretted his actions, for in 1794 he was among the signers of an address to the governor seeking to remove the whites. He remained in Brothertown until his death around 1802.

Chaugham, James

James Chaugham was a Narragansett Indian from Block Island, RI. He married Molly Barber, a white woman from Wethersfield, CT. The couple settled near New Hartford, CT, and had eight children, one of whom, Mercy, married a fugitive slave named Isaac Jacklyn. Their extended family became known as the Lighthouse Tribe.

Sergeant, Jr., John

John Sergeant Jr., like his father, served as a minister in Stockbridge, MA. In 1773, Stephen West, the minister to the Stockbridge Indians since 1757, decided to leave his post and turned over ministering duties to John Sergeant Jr. Stockbridge, MA, which John Sergeant Sr. helped establish, failed as a Christian Indian town when the Stockbridge Indians lost ownership of their land. When the Oneida Tribe offered the Stockbridgers land in central New York after the American Revolution, many of them moved to the Brothertown and New Stockbridge settlements. The Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge funded Sergeant Jr. in 1787 to continue serving as a minister to the Stockbridge Indians who moved to New York. Sergeant travelled from Stockbridge, MA, to New Stockbridge every year to serve as their minister. In 1788, the Stockbridge Indians at New Stockbridge were divided in their support for Occom or John Sergeant as the town’s minister. Mohican sachem Hendrick Aupaumut led the community members who favored Occom. According to Sergeant, 30 members of the Tribe were in favor of Occom while 50 were in favor of him (later, half of Occom’s supporters defected to Sergeant). The relationship between Sergeant and Occom was contentious, with Occom disliking Sergeant’s manner of preaching. Occom moved to Munhegunnack or New Stockbridge in 1791 and suggests in a letter that many of Sergeant’s supporters were shifting support to Occom. In his sermons, Sergeant blamed the Indians’ loss of land on what he described as their drunkenness and idleness. He suggested that the whites’ encroachment on their lands was God’s punishment for their sins. Sergeant remained the New Stockbridge minister until his death in 1824.

Miller, Jeremiah
Hedges, Lewis
Hedges, Reuben
Johnson, Guy

After immigrating to America in 1756, Guy Johnson, Sir William Johnson’s nephew and eventual son-in-law, served in the army during the Seven Years War. From 1762 on, he worked as Sir William's deputy in addition to serving in the New York militia and New York Assembly (1773-1775). When Sir William Johnson died in July of 1774, Guy Johnson succeeded him as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Northeast. He issued Brothertown’s land deed that October. While Sir William Johnson was relatively moderate in his loyalties to England, his successors—Sir John Johnson, Daniel Claus, and Guy Johnson—were much more fervent in their loyalism. All three men tried their best to keep the Six Nations loyal to Britain during the Revolution, with limited success. Because of his loyalism, Guy Johnson clashed with Samuel Kirkland, a Moor’s Indian Charity School alumnus, over Kirkland’s attempts to persuade the Oneida to support the colonies. Guy Johnson spent much of the Revolution assisting the British Army in various ways. After the war, he relocated to Canada and resumed his duties as superintendent. In 1783, he was accused of embezzling funds from the Indian department, and he turned his post over to Sir John Johnson so that he could travel to London with the dual purpose of clearing his name and reclaiming some of the Johnson estate that had been lost in the Revolution. He died while in London.

Franklin, William

William Franklin was the 13th, and last, royal governor of New Jersey. He was the natural son of Benjamin Franklin, printer and diplomat of Philadelphia. William attended Alexander Annand's Classical Academy for two years and was tutored at home. He then served in King George’s war on the New York frontier, attaining the rank of captain, and participated in trade missions to the Delaware and Shawnee Indians in 1748. He went on to study law, was admitted to the bar, and traveled to Europe assisting with his father’s scientific experiments. In 1762 he was awarded an honorary master of arts degree from Oxford, married Elizabeth Downes, and was appointed to the governorship. Franklin was popular in the position early on, introducing subsidies for farmers, establishing the first Indian reservation at Brotherton, PA, and helping to found Queens College (now Rutgers University). His popularity faded when he allied himself with Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. He was arrested in June 1776, imprisoned, and released in October 1778 to British authorities in New York in a prisoner exchange. His wife died during this separation, and for the next four years, he was involved in Loyalist operations. After the American victory, Franklin emigrated to England where the British Commission on Loyalist Claims awarded him £1800 and a pension for his loss of estate. He remarried a wealthy Irish widow, Mary D’Evelyn, and served as an agent for Loyalist claims in London. Franklin tried to reestablish relations with his estranged father and his own natural son, William Temple Franklin, who had become Benjamin’s ward. Although briefly reconciled, his father finally disinherited him. He was called the most notorious Loyalist after Benedict Arnold.

Post, John
Johnson, William

Sir William Johnson was a powerful British colonial official who amassed wealth and influence by integrating into the Mohawk tribe. For a brief window of time (1761-1768), he provided support for Wheelock’s missionary efforts among the Six Nations. He also helped the Brothertown Nation of Indians procure land from the Oneidas. Johnson was born in Ireland in 1715. His family had been part of the Catholic elite, but after William of Orange’s 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne, they at least nominally converted to the Episcopalian Church. In 1738, Johnson emigrated to America to manage his uncle Peter Warren’s estate in Mohawk territory. Over the next decade, Johnson became wealthy in his own right through trade and land sales, acquiring a vast estate crowned by his manor house, Johnson Hall, which became the central location for British and Indian treaty making. In 1745, Johnson began collecting official British titles and positions. He played an important military role in the French and Indian War and was named Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1756 and first baronet of New York in 1757. Much of Johnson’s success was due to his influence among the Mohawks, which he obtained by learning their language and customs and integrating himself into their society. He participated in Mohawk rituals and entered into a common-law marriage with a powerful Mohawk woman, Molly Brant (also called Mary Brant). Because Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) society is matrilineal, this marriage was an essential element of his participation in Indian affairs. Wheelock desperately wanted to wield missionary influence among the Six Nations, and sought to obtain Johnson as an ally in his endeavors. At first, the two found grounds for cooperation. Wheelock sent Occom as a missionary to the Oneidas in 1761 and again in 1762, and sent a substantially larger group of missionaries and schoolmasters in 1765, 1766, and 1767. Johnson, meanwhile, encouraged Haudenosaunee children, including his brother-in-law Joseph Brant, to attend Moor’s. Johnson’s support proved indispensible to missionaries in the field; he helped with supplies, language skills, and relations with the Mohawks and Oneidas. Wheelock also valued Johnson for his influence in Britain, and drew on him for recommendations and public statements of support numerous times. From 1763 on, however, Johnson found himself decidedly uncomfortable with Wheelock’s missionary efforts, and by 1769, their relationship had dissolved completely. In 1766, Johnson was invited to join the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG), the largest and most influential Anglican missionary society in the 18th-century British-Atlantic world. He began working to place Anglican missionaries, rather than Congregationalist and Presbyterian ones, among the Six Nations, which alarmed Wheelock. Johnson was generally supportive of Native American tribes’ efforts to maintain their land and sovereignty. As the historian Linford Fisher has noted, “virtually every major Native group in southeastern New England successfully petitioned Johnson to act on their behalf during the late 1760s and early 1770s.” Among these groups was the Brothertown Nation, a Christian composite tribe formed by Southern New England Algonquian Moor’s alumni. Johnson helped them negotiate with the Oneidas, which proved essential to their successful land purchase and relocation to central New York.

Brant, Joseph

Joseph Brant studied briefly with Wheelock and went on to be a very influential Mohawk leader. He was born into a prominent Mohawk family, and his connections only improved when his sister, Molly, began a long-lasting relationship with Sir William Johnson. Brant came to study with Wheelock in 1761. He played the part of a model pupil, as he was already partially assimilated and took to his studies quickly. Wheelock had high hopes for him, but in 1763, Brant visited Mohawk country with CJ Smith and never returned. This was likely a result of Johnson's increasing desire to promote only Anglican missionary efforts, as Brant seems to have harbored no ill-will towards Wheelock: Calloway hypothesizes that Brant's influence protected Dartmouth during the Revolution, and in 1800 Brant sent two of his sons to Moor's Indian Charity School. After leaving Wheelock, Brant went on to accumulate influence both as a British civil servant and Mohawk leader (historians debate how much genuine power and influence he had among the Mohawks and Six Nations more generally). The British government employed him as an interpreter, and in 1775, he visited England to argue for Mohawk interests. During the Revolution, he remained loyal to the British and encouraged other tribes to do the same. After the Revolution, when the British abandoned Indian land interests, he battled militarily and politically for Native land rights. Culturally, Brant was very much a pro-assimilation Anglican. He translated the Gospel of Mark, as well as other religious documents, into Mohawk, and lived a generally anglicized lifestyle, although he criticized what he saw as severe moral failings in white society.

Kirkland, Samuel

Samuel Kirkland (b. Kirtland) was Eleazar Wheelock’s most famous Anglo American student. He conducted a 40-year mission to the Oneidas and founded Hamilton College (established in 1793 as Hamilton Oneida Academy). Kirkland won acclaim as a missionary at a young age by conducting an adventurous and risky mission to the Senecas, the westernmost of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Six Nations. After his year and a half among them, which was well publicized by Wheelock, he was ordained and sent as a missionary to the Oneidas under the auspices of the Connecticut Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. He spent most of the rest of his life serving the Oneidas as a minister. Kirkland’s sincere devotion to serving as a missionary was excellent publicity for Wheelock’s program, but it also brought the two men into conflict. Wheelock became jealous of Kirkland when the school’s British benefactors began urging Wheelock to make Kirkland his heir, and Kirkland, meanwhile, was upset that Wheelock had failed to provide him with sufficient supplies on his mission — a complaint that he was unafraid to publicize (and that almost all of Wheelock’s other students shared). The breaking point came in 1770, when Kirkland split from Wheelock’s Connecticut Board and affiliated with the New England Company, a missionary society that had abruptly turned against Wheelock in 1765. Wheelock and Kirkland briefly made up in 1771, but their relationship quickly dissolved into further acrimony. Although Kirkland spent most of his life as a missionary to the Six Nations, he generally held disparaging views of Native Americans. He did not approve of Wheelock’s plan to educate Indians as missionaries, and was haughty towards the Moor’s alumni that worked with him (notably David Fowler, Joseph Johnson, and Joseph Woolley). Prior to the Revolution, Kirkland had been stringent in his refusals to take Oneida land, even when offered to him. The Revolution seems to have shifted his loyalties from the Oneidas to local Anglo Americans. Kirkland served as a chaplain in the American army and was instrumental in convincing the Oneidas to remain neutral (or, more accurately, to side with the Americans). At one point he was the chaplain with General Sullivan’s army, the force sent to ransack Seneca and Cayuga territory in 1779. It is unclear what emotions this aroused in Kirkland, who had served the Senecas less than 15 years earlier, yet after the war, Kirkland freely engaged in Oneida dispossession. Along with James Dean, another Wheelock alumnus with close ties to the Oneidas, Kirkland played a pivotal role in urging the Oneidas to sell land illegally to the state of New York. The land deals that resulted gave Kirkland the property, financial capital, and connections to establish Hamilton Oneida Academy. The last decades of Kirkland’s life were difficult. He found himself in a three-way battle with Samson Occom and John Sergeant Jr., who were also ministers in Oneida territory, for the hearts and minds of their congregations; he was fired as a missionary in 1797, although he continued to serve sans salary; one of his son’s business enterprises failed, leaving Kirkland nearly destitute; and two of his three sons died unexpectedly. Hamilton Oneida Academy, like Moor’s Indian Charity School, largely failed at its goal of educating Indians, and in 1812, four years after Kirkland’s death, it was re-purposed as Hamilton College, a largely Anglo-American institution. At some point in the mid-to-late 18th century, Kirkland changed his name from Kirtland, although the reasons for this are uncertain.

Clement, XIII
HomeSamson Occom, journal, 1774 July 8 to August 14
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